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he will feel that he has nothing to oppose to the antagonist force with which he comes into collision.
It was the misfortune of Joseph Jenkins, that his religious education—if, indeed, such education deserve the name of religious-was of the nature to which we have just referred. In Scotland, he had been regular in his attendance in his parish church; he was an amiable and interesting youth; he possessed several excellent qualities; his moral conduct, indeed, was unexceptionable. He was, moreover, in a merely notional or theoretical point of view, intimately conversant with the details of the Christian scheme. His religion, however, was confined to the head; it never, in the remotest degree, affected his heart.
The result was, in his case, what it has been in the case of unnumbered individuals before him. For a season, after coming to London, he was exemplary in his attendance in a place of worship in connexion with the Presbyterian establishment of his native land. There was, too, an external propriety in his moral conduct which it was pleasing to witness. As, however, he began to form acquaintances in London, and to feel that he was in a fair way of making 1 a competent livelihood, his attendance in a place of worship became less regular. He began by deeming it enough to go to chapel. once a week. In less than a month he thought i there would be no harm in occasionally absentan ing himself from it the whole day, provided he felt indisposed to leave his room, or was invited'ı to join some party of pleasure. In a few weeks » more he came to the conclusion, that going to a place of worship at all, or making any
dis." tinction between Sunday and any other day,»N were very unnecessary things. - His practice": kept pace with his newly-adopted notions. He would not, it is true, commit the crime of theft; but he saw no other objection to getting into debt, which he knew he had no reasonable. prospect of ever being able to pay, than the inari
convenience of being dunned, and probably being some day consigned to the care of the Marshalsea of the Queen's Bench prison. The progress be made in libertinism, was of the mest marked description. He himself was the only person of all who knew him, who was not struck with it; it excited the surprise even of persons who had themselves been confirmed libertines for a long series of years. Every moment he could spare from professional duties was devoted to the indulgence of his passion for criminal pleasure ; and that passion only grew in strength the more it was fed. The more he conceded to it, the greater became its demands. The first portion of his unemployed evenings was spent in the tavern or the theatre; the remainder in houses of a still more objectionable kind.
If a thought of a Supreme Being or a future state, did occasionally obtain an entrance into his mind, not a moment did he lose, after the discovery had been made, in seeking to eject the
unwelcome intruder. As yet, he was no speculative infidel. He nominally assented to the truths of Christianity; hence the circumstance of his being so eager to banish all reflections respecting the being of a God, and the destinies of a world to come. To a person living in guilt and yet unconfirmed in speculative infidelity, there can be nothing so terrible as the thought of the Most High, or of a future state. Joseph knew this from painful experience, limited though the period yet was of his libertine career.
Mr. Lovegood had learned, with the deepest regret, the line of conduct Joseph was pursuing. The latter had not called on him ever since he had fairly abandoned himself to a course of indulgence in immoral pleasures. It is one of the almost invariable concomitants of guilt, that it leads its victims studiously to shun all intercourse with the virtuous persons with whom they were formerly acquainted. Mr. Lovegood had, on learning how he was conducting himself, repeatedly invited Mr. Jenkins to his house; but the latter, under some pretext or other, always declined the invitation. Feeling, as he did, a peculiar interest in the well-being of Joseph, and seeing no probability of his being able to prevail upon him to call at his house, Mr. Lovegood determined on paying him a morning visit, for the purpose of remonstrating with him on the criminality and inevitable consequences, if persisted in, of his conduct. He found Joseph in bed—as, indeed, he would have done, if, instead of calling at eleven in the morning, he had deferred his visit till two o'clock; for the result of the late hours he now kept, and the habits of indolence he had contracted, was, that he rarely quitted his bed before that hour. Mr. Lovegood's presence caused considerable embarrassment to our hero, who would have given anything to avoid the interview. He, however, received his friend and visitor with the respect which his moral worth could not fail to extort from all who knew him, even from the most abandoned of mankind; and with, besides, a